Bumi, Kariba report 2000

We had a good flight and a thoroughly delightful game drive on our first afternoon at Bumi.  We didn’t drive for 3 minutes without seeing something pose, move, browse, fly, swim, feed, scurry or just laze about.  Elephants wherever we looked, utterly gentle, youngsters of all sizes.  They were all so incredibly relaxed that babies were ambling about  all over the bush with mothers not even looking their way, much less shielding them from us, as they usually do!  As we left the lush vegetation to check out a watery inlet and stopped to view distant buffalo, a pair of bushbuck did just the opposite of what the species normally does – they emerged from a bush instead of disappearing behind it and actually came to browse within 3 metres of our vehicle.  A black egret swooped down – he’s the one with the weird and clever fishing habit of making an umbrella of himself.  It looks utterly funny to see him stalk a few steps, then stop abruptly, fling his wings over his head, all the while ducking under his own canopy stabbing the water with his beak.  Quite apart from the mirth, I was tickled pink to see it – in all my game drives, this was only the second time!  Then, of course, the ever-present impala, with the testosterone-imbued males showing off, this being the rutting season.  And crocs, and fish, and waterbuck, and birds galore, and sundry others…

Sundowners were at another of the many inlets formed by the overfull lake, in the company of several elephants, one posing obligingly in the sunset.

In the evening I arranged for the manager and his wife to join us for dinner to answer the inevitable questions, particularly in the present situation!

The next day’s 15-minute boat ride to Water Wilderness was enjoyable too.  How they fared in this little paradise I’ll find out later this morning.  At this stage it seems as though we’ll have to go to Kariba to refuel, since Vic Falls has run dry.  They have requested a flight over the Falls, so I had fondly expected to kill two birds with one stone by routing this way both to refuel and to enjoy the aerial view of the Falls.  Ah well, this way they get their question as to the siting of the dam wall answered…

 Credit Brigitte Cross